Local ingredients and bold, intense tastes are the hallmarks of Portuguese cuisine. Whether you choose the salty punch of bacalhau, the sweet custardy kick of pasteis de nata, or the intense mix of paprika, garlic, and bay leaves, the foundation of many local recipes
Portugal's traditional foods provide robust and exquisite tastes. Here's our list of the top 10 Portuguese meals to eat on your next trip to help you plan your gastronomic adventures.
Alheira de Mirandela: Alheira may have the appearance of a sausage, but it is much more. It's packed with various meats, ranging from veal to rabbit, and served with a fried egg and potatoes. It has also played a significant historical role, with Portuguese Jews making the meal as a visible sign of their conversion to Christianity.
Bacalhau: Bacalhau is little more than salted, dried fish, but it appears in over a thousand Portuguese dishes. Its robust and salty flavor is exceptionally seductive, whether roasted à la Lagareiro, cooked in a casserole à Gomes de Sá, or simply filled in bar snacks like croquettes.
Bifana: Thinly sliced pork marinated in garlic and white wine, cooked in a lardy sauce, and slapped between the folds of a Portuguese bread makes bifana a sumptuous sandwich.
Caldo Verde: Caldo Verde, a popular local meal, may appear to the uninformed as cabbage soup. Its greens are sliced up in very specific ways, absorbing most of the slight smokey taste supplied by the addition of barbequed pork, making it deceptively complex to prepare.
Carne de Porco Alentejana: Great heaps of pork and shellfish make up Portugal's rendition of surf and turf. When the clams are put on a combination of paprika, garlic, bay leaf, and coriander, they open up, allowing their exquisite salty fluids to drip onto the meat.
Ovas: Portugal has a long history of seafood consumption, and as a result, there is a range of regional recipes that employ the entire fish, even the egg sacs! This famous local salad combines the egg sacs with onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and lettuce. We swear it's a lot better than it sounds.
Pasteis de Nata: Pasteis de Nata, the mother of all custard tarts, has a global reputation and a continental one. Lemon juice is poured into the custard, and a pinch of nutmeg is dusted over the glossy film of a lid on the best, which is sent all over the world.
Peixe Grelhado: Peixe Grelhado is the bass note of every Portuguese meal, and for a good reason. This marinade is commonly seen on red snapper, sardines, bass, bream, and mackerel, although it may be used on nearly any seafood. Drizzled in olive oil, sprinkled with pieces of salt, then roasted over charcoal until the skin turns crispy, Peixe Grelhado is the bass note of every Portuguese menu, and for a good reason.
Sardinhas: Although many delectable fish kinds give sardines a run for their money, the small nibbler remains the most popular. They're inexpensive and tasty, and they're the ideal addition to jugs of sangria or a plate of veggies.
Salame de Chocolate: This ubiquitous chocolate "salami," which is also prevalent in Italy, can be found in most grocery stores and pastelarias across Portugal. This delectable dessert matches even the legendary Pasteis de Nata, with a moreish blend of dark chocolate, almonds, and broken up biscuits.